It’s one of the best, but picking the iO9 might be even better.
The Series 8 is a very capable electric toothbrush. It delivers great cleaning results. It is packed full of clever features that can help you brush your teeth better.
- Premium looking handle with a built-in colour display
- Quieter than other Oral-B brushes
- Rapid recharging with the magnetic charging stand
- Real-time tracking via Bluetooth can be valuable to the most committed users
- Requires iO specific heads which are more expensive
- Bluetooth connectivity isn’t essential and adds to the cost
You might prefer these brushes
If you are not bothered about Bluetooth connectivity and such premium features, the Pro 3 3500 is a much more affordable option.
Whereas the iO Series 9 benefits from 1 or 2 features over the iO8, notably the charging travel case.
Or, for something in the middle, striking the balance between premium and affordability, you have the iO Series 6.
|Oral-B iO Series 9||1,851 Reviews||£499.99 £283.00||View on Amazon|
How the iO8 looks, feels and works
Before going into detail on the brush itself, I wish to give a quick mention of the retail packaging for the iO8.
Compared to some of the Oral-B unboxing experiences I have had, this is much better.
The outer box is cardboard and the inner tray is made of card rather than polystyrene which was extensively used in the past.
The artwork on the box has a very typical Oral-B design to it. It is fairly consistent with other models. However, there has been a real improvement in the amount of information printed on it.
In the past, it would state 6 cleaning modes, but never say what they were. Now, these are clearly identified. Other features are highlighted and explained too.
Somewhat disappointing is the fact that the travel case and brush head holder are wrapped with a plastic sleeve. This isn’t necessary. But, I presume this is there to protect them from getting scratched.
A colour display is built into the stylish brush handle
It will catch your eye and is one of the main differentiators of the iO Series compared to other models.
Built into the front of the handle is a colour screen.
It isn’t a touchscreen, but that is a good thing as it is more reliable and easier to interact with this way.
Having a display is, without doubt, a luxury and it is not something that you need. But, it certainly fits with the heir of premium and quality that the iO8 exudes.
What I particularly like about the screen is that you can easily move between and select the different cleaning modes on the brush. But, unlike most Oral-B brushes where you get just an icon, you actually get a name/label for the mode. This makes it really clear what you are selecting.
I have gotten to learn the icons, but I can assure you that someone like my mum would find this frustrating and unnecessary. The icons can be hard to decipher.
As an added bonus there are small customizations that can be made via the display, that would usually be reserved for the app, if there was no screen. You can change the colour of the smart pressure sensor come light ring around the neck of the brush handle for example. You have 12 different colours to choose from.
Flanking the display are 2 buttons. The top one if the power button to turn the brush on and off, whilst the lower is the cleaning mode button.
You can change the mode prior to turning the brush on. This is something not possible on all Oral-B brushes.
Just like other iO brush handles, the 8 looks and feels great.
There is a rounded shape to the handle with no harsh edges.
It is just a couple of centimetres thick and wide.
Unlike cheaper Oral-B brushes and even premium models from years gone by, there is a distinct lack of textured surfaces on the iO’s handle.
Instead, there is a smooth, but resistive coating to the plastic. That might sound odd, but basically, it isn’t as slippery to the touch as you expect.
The benefit of less grip is that the handle is easier to keep clean. It can easily be rinsed and wiped. You don’t get a buildup of toothpaste residue and grime within the textured surfaces of the rubber, as is the case with other models.
The iO8 feels solid and well built when in the hand
With few exceptions, electric toothbrushes are of plastic construction.
This is because plastic is easily moulded, is very resistant to moisture, and is durable and lightweight.
The iO8 like the other iO Series handle does feel robust and well built when in the hand.
In the past, Oral-B brushes haven’t felt poor quality as such, but they just didn’t give the same sense of premium as Philips Sonicare.
With the iO8 gloss white plastics have been dropped for a cleaner and more desirable matt finish to the handle.
Having been making toothbrushes for many years, Oral-B knows what works. Whilst the iO8 is a newer design, I have little in the way of concerns for long term durability.
My iO9 has been in use for a couple of years at the time of writing and still operates as if it were new.
Aside from the aforementioned screen and buttons, on the front of the handle you will also find a printed Bluetooth icon along with the Oral-B iO logos.
The back and sides of the handle are free from any notable ports or controls.
There is no raised plastic nodule on the back of the handle to stop it from rolling about. But when laid flat it tends only to wobble a bit, rather than roll, due to the weight and shape of the handle.
Unlike the iO 4, 5 and 6, the base of the iO8 is pretty much flat. It does concave very slightly, but there is no recess in it for the charging pin of the charging stand.
The Series 8 will happily stand upright on a countertop.
It’s water resistant, but not submergible
Most toothbrushes, including the Series 8 are designed to withstand the rigours of twice daily use.
Water, wet hands, toothpaste and saliva are all in store for your handle.
Whilst I don’t suggest trying to submerge the iO8 unnecessarily, the handle is water resistant so a good rinse under the tap and even use in the shower are perfectly acceptable things to do.
It has 6 different brushing modes
If you like choice, the iO8 gives you just this.
Choose between the following 6 brushing modes:
- Daily Clean
- Super Sensitive
- Gum Care
Simply press the mode button repeatedly to cycle through the modes and then the power button to select the one you want.
The brush will remain set to the chosen cleaning mode during your brushing session and it will default to that the next time you turn the brush on.
You can actually change the order and even enable and disable modes from the smartphone application that this brush can pair with, if you so desire.
6 modes are more than you or I need.
For the vast majority of users, and I include myself in this, the Daily Clean and Sensitive modes are more than sufficient. Modes like whitening and intense don’t provide any significant benefit to you and there is little to no evidence to really confirm the need for them.
But, nonetheless, you have the choice.
If you want to learn more about the different brushing modes on Oral-B handles, do check out our guide to Oral-B cleaning modes.
The timer and pacer help you to brush for the right amount of time
An essential feature of any good toothbrush is a 2 minute timer and pacer. It is something our in-house dentists recommend.
You will be pleased to know that these are built into the iO8 as standard.
As the brush is turned on the pacer and timer are activated.
At 30 second intervals the pacer kicks in. You will note a pause in the bristle motion, a change in sound and brushing sensation and a vibration in the handle. This is your cue to move from one section of the mouth to another.
This then repeats every 30 seconds, until the brush gets to 120 seconds (2 minutes).
The idea is that you break the mouth up into 4 sections:
- upper right
- upper left
- lower right
- lower left
You spend 30 seconds cleaning each section. As you do, you try to give equal attention to the front, back and biting surfaces of the teeth.
If you do, come the 120 seconds of brushing time, you should have achieved an even clean to the teeth and gums.
You will need to press the power button to turn the toothbrush off, as it does not power off automatically as some other brushes do. Well, it would if you left the brush running for 5 minutes, but I don’t recommend doing so.
As you power the brush off, no matter how long you have been brushing for, you will get an emoji style face appear on the screen. What face it is depends on your brushing time.
Brush for an insufficient amount of time and you will get a sad face. Brush for 2 minutes and you get a smiley face. If you brush for much longer than required you will see a starry eyed smile.
Around the world, dental professionals are in almost unanimous agreement that you should be brushing your teeth twice a day 2 minutes at a time. And cleaning in between the teeth at least once a day.
The reality is far too few do, with the average brushing time being just 45-70 seconds in total per day.
If you are guilty of this, you are putting your oral health at risk.
It is worth knowing that during any brushing session you do get a timer on the screen too. It isn’t necessarily the easiest to see based on the way you hold the brush, but it is there should you need to refer to it.
The smart pressure sensor alerts you when you brush with the correct or incorrect amount of pressure
This is probably one of the best pressure sensor implementations in any electric toothbrush on the market today.
Around the neck of the brush handle is a light ring that changes colour depending on the pressure applied.
This is another dentist recommended feature.
The colours and what they mean are as follows:
- White – Low pressure – not enough force is being applied. This is the default setting.
- Green – The right amount of pressure is being used.
- Red – High or excessive pressure is being applied and the force should be reduced.
As best as possible you want the light ring to be lit green for the entirety of the brushing session.
It is worth noting that the white light can be customised to an alternative colour via the smartphone app.
Too much pressure can damage the teeth and gums. As such when the red light is active, in the daily clean, intense and sensitive modes the number of brush head movements will be reduced until the pressure is relieved.
If using the smartphone application when brushing you will be alerted via the on-screen graphics only when too much force is being applied.
The sound of the brush handle does differ very slightly when excessive force is being used. It does not alter the vibration pattern felt via the handle, like Sonicare brushes do.
This smart sensor isn’t exclusive to the iO8. It is available on all Oral-B iO series handles.
The iO’s motor is quieter
A common complaint of many Oral-B brushes is that they are loud.
I concur with this. Compared to a Philips Sonicare or other sonic toothbrush they are very noisy.
To put it into perspective, if someone was talking to you when using a sonic toothbrush, you would hear them clearly. With an Oral-B brush running it would be a bit more of a challenge.
However, there is good news with the iO8, because it uses a newer and different motor.
Sealed inside the handle is a brushless magnetic drive system used exclusively in the iO Series.
It does mean the brushing experience is actually different. Existing Oral-B users will likely notice the difference. It is a bit softer and less aggressive.
But, the good news is that it is quieter too. Well, a bit, anyway.
The iO8 produces up to about 72 decibels of sound or less. That is in the region of 5 decibels less than other Oral-B brushes.
The iO4, 5 and 6 are quieter still.
You will be hard pushed to find a brush that cleans better
Even though I have tested hundreds of different toothbrushes, I tend to always come back to Oral-B.
This is because the cleaning results are just so good from the oscillating and rotating brush head.
It sounds clichéd, but I get that dentist clean feeling after each brushing session.
My at home plaque disclosing tests have shown how well the brush removes the bacteria. And I do like how the cleaning action is a little more intense and invigorating. This might not be to everyone’s liking, but it works for me.
Clinical research has shown how the evidence tends to stack up in favour of Oral-B.
Oral-B has posted impressive clinical results with their iO brushes and in the US, the iO Series has been awarded the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance, confirming it meets the claims made by the manufacturer.
But, for full disclosure, it isn’t an open and shut case. Sonic brushes are still very good.
The different cleaning modes have some bearing on the intensity of the clean, so if you prefer something a little more gentle, the sensitive mode might be for you.
Irrespective of the mode, use the correct techniques and you will get a good clean of the teeth and gums.
Replacement brush heads are ridiculously expensive for the iO Series
With the introduction of the iO came a new range of iO exclusive brush heads.
These heads fit only iO brush handles and are not compatible with other Oral-B brushes such as the Vitality, Pro, Smart and Genius Series.
And the heads that fit those models don’t fit the iO Series.
They don’t fit because the attachment is different. They still push on and pull off of the handle, but the iO brush head shaft is a bit wider and angled differently.
This re-design may well have been necessary, but I am not sure that the additional cost is.
A typical set of bristles for most Oral-B brushes costs around £3 per head.
The new iO refills are over double this cost at about £8 per head.
Not only is the lack of compatibility frustrating, but if you are upgrading, the price premium is very off-putting. Particularly when you need to replace the heads every 3 months.
The iO8 comes supplied with 1 Ultimate Clean brush head, which provides a very satisfying clean.
It has slightly firmer bristles that are angled at 16 degrees to effectively remove plaque from the teeth and along the gumline.
It is not the only style of head available, though.
You can choose between:
- Ultimate Clean
- Gentle Care
- Radiant White
- Specialised Clean
The ultimate clean and gentle care are our top choices.
You can choose the one you prefer, you don’t have to stick with the style that comes included in the box.
You can learn more about the specific differences between each head and why we select each by reading our Oral-B brush heads article.
Be reminded when it is time to replace your brush head
3 months is the recommended time to replace them because, assuming you brush for the recommended time, the bristles will wear and become less effective.
The rounded tips can become uneven and potentially damage the gums and abrade the tooth surface.
Whilst it is unlikely that you are going to do any significant damage if you were to use the head for 4 months, it is best to avoid using it for this long if you can.
The iO8 will actually remind you when it is time to replace the head via the app and on-screen. This only works if you log within the app when you last replaced it.
These reminders are really helpful as the brush heads themselves don’t always have fading indicator bristles to remind you.
If your brush head shows obvious signs of wear sooner than this, you want to replace the brush head sooner too. It might also be a sign you are brushing incorrectly, perhaps with too much force.
Once you have replaced the head, you should reset the reminder within the app.
The reminder system works on a number of assumptions and isn’t tracking the head via a unique tracking chip like Sonicare does with their BrushSync enabled heads.
So the iO8 wouldn’t know if you replaced the head after 1 month unless you specifically told it.
You can access the app at any time to see how long you have been using the head. It logs when it was replaced and counts the number of days used as well as the number of brushing minutes that have elapsed.
Track your brushing habits via your smartphone using Bluetooth
All of the iO Series brush handles offer Bluetooth connectivity.
This means you can connect the iO8 to your smartphone, using the free Oral-B app for Android and iOS, and get insights into your oral care routine.
It is what some might call a ‘smart toothbrush’.
As a general rule, we don’t recommend smart brushes. This is because you don’t need them to achieve a good clean.
Not to mention they use more resources and can be more expensive.
But, some people, maybe yourself, might like the idea of getting more information on how you are brushing and being alerted to insights and patterns within your routine.
The principle of the app is to educate and encourage people like you and me to take more control and ownership of our oral health.
If we can learn what we are doing well and where there are areas for improvement, we can make the appropriate corrections before problems arise.
Changes and improvements to the app are being made all of the time, this is the beauty of such a toothbrush. But as it stands you can customise the order of the cleaning modes, set specific oral care journeys, see the battery status, change the colour of the light ring and track how long you have been using a particular brush head, amongst other things.
As you brush you are able to see which cleaning mode you have selected. The screen will change when you are applying too much pressure and more.
Track your brushing in real-time and improve your brushing immediately
One of the more unique features of this premium toothbrush is the ability to track its position in the mouth.
Sensors in the handle relay the orientation of the brush back to the app in real-time, which turns the data into on-screen visuals.
The idea being it helps you to learn what areas of the mouth you are and are not brushing well, so that you can take corrective action, either immediately or the next time you brush.
Based on how well you brush, you are given a score.
This score, along with other bits of brushing data are presented in a dashboard that you can take learnings from.
The app looks to build up an average score and understanding of your habits, but you can drill down into individual brushing sessions.
Even if you use the brush at times without the app, the handle will store some of the data and sync this with the app next time.
Without getting into too much minute detail, the whole system is very clever. Conceptually it is a very good idea and with serious commitment, some will gain a real benefit.
But a few of the sticking points are as follows:
- You need to be committed to making improvements
To get the improvements you want or the app encourages you need to really work hard at making the necessary changes. Essentially you have to be prepared to correct your mistakes. If you do, this should benefit your oral health.
Ideally, you want to have your phone with you each time you brush, which isn’t something everyone will want to do.
- The tracking isn’t that accurate – 6 zones rather than 16
The tracking works, but it isn’t perfect.
Some sessions seem better than others, but I will often have the app registering a different zone to the one I am actually brushing. There can be a noticeable lag/delay in the visuals.
The app shows the on-screen visuals based on 6 zones (upper right rear, upper front, upper left rear, lower right rear, lower front and lower left rear) compared to the 16 zones (all the tooth surfaces) that are tracked on the iO9 for example.
Tracking 16 zones is more accurate and meaningful than 6. You might always be failing to brush the inside surfaces in a particular zone. But, you wouldn’t know this as the 6 zone tracking isn’t as specific.
It’s not a massive issue, but the pacer on the iO8 is set to 4 quadrants by default, yet the app is set to 6 zones. Thus a 20 second (sextant) pacer might be more useful to encourage even brushing in the ones being tracked.
Whilst I won’t claim to have the perfect brushing technique, I do think it is perhaps better than most. That said, even I struggle to get perfect scores all the time. Perhaps I have faults or it is partly down to the tech?
- Once you have made the improvements, you probably won’t want to track
If you have a terrible routine and habits this brush can aid improvement. But what about when you have mastered it?
Let’s assume you have got a pretty accurate brushing score every time for the last 3 months. The motivation to use the app inevitably wears off.
Yes, you can periodically log a few sessions to ensure you are still doing the right thing, but have the value and benefit gone?
- You can achieve similar results for a fraction of the price
You don’t need a smart toothbrush to perfect your routine.
Yes, it could help, but you could save a lot of money by buying a more affordable toothbrush without the tech and instead learning the correct approaches from other sources.
Get personalised recommendations and tutorials from your dental hygienist or watch some of our oral care videos that show you how to brush correctly.
With a few minutes of your time and several brushing sessions where you really put into practice what you have learned, you can achieve the same results.
Choose the colour you want, you have 3 choices
You have the choice between 3 colours with the iO8.
- White Alabaster
- Black Onyx
- Violet ametrine
Technically each brush handle is the same, the difference is the colour of the brush handle itself.
All should come with a travel case as well as a brush head refill holder. These are either white or black in colour.
There is a variant that replaces the plastic travel case with a zipper style case instead.
The zipper case is black for the black handle, violet for the violet ametrine and silver for the white handled brush.
There is also a package that contains 2 brush handles. You get 2 iO8 brush handles in the box, 2 brush heads, 1 charging stand, 1 travel case and 1 brush head refill holder. The handle colours are black and white.
Accessories and extras
Included in the box with the iO8 are a travel case and brush head storage compartment.
The travel case holds the handle and up to 2 brush heads.
It is a more premium case than you get with the iO4, 5 and 6. The plastics are thicker and more durable. The inner lining is moulded differently.
Fundamentally they do the same thing, but the case with the iO8 is better quality. It is a touch heavier too.
Holding the case vertically, it is hinged on the left side, opening up like a book.
The ends of the case are rounded, as is the top lid. The base is flat, so it sits on a worktop.
Debossed onto the top lid is the Oral-B iO logo with a push style clip on the right side to lock the case closed or to open it up.
Summary of design, usability & general use
- Minimal look to the brush handle which is easy to keep clean
- Colour display
- Available in a variety of colours
- Separate power and cleaning mode buttons
- 6 different cleaning modes
- Defaults to the last cleaning mode used
- It has a built-in 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer
- Excellent visible smart pressure sensor helps reduce the chance of doing damage
- Quiet, brushless magnetic motor
- Great cleaning results from the small round brush head
- American Dental Association Approved
- 1 x Ultimate Clean brush head supplied
- Additional brush head styles are available separately
- Brush head replacement reminder system
- Connects to a free smartphone application via Bluetooth
- Real-time tracking is available to encourage better oral care routines
- The real-time tracking isn’t as comprehensive as models like the iO9 with 16 zone tracking
- Options to customise the brush handle
- Travel case and brush head holder included
The battery lasts about 14 days on a full charge
The suggested battery life for the Series 8 from Oral-B is around 2 weeks.
I say around 2 weeks because Oral-B says 2, but often it will outlast this by a few days.
This is pretty standard now across the Oral-B range, iO series brush handle or not.
In my hands-on testing, I achieved 28 brushing sessions, each 2 minutes in length.
That is equivalent to 14 days of use or about 2 days longer than the advertised 2 weeks.
It is passable overall, but it isn’t great.
And whilst it won’t bother many, the battery life can be a bit temperamental.
Battery life gets better and worse — which is it?
This is going to sound a bit odd, but bear with me.
Sometimes when using the iO8 I achieve 14 days from it on a full charge.
Other times I get about 16 days and then very occasionally I will get less than 14 days.
But, as an average it does achieve my desired and the claimed 2 weeks.
I can’t figure out what goes on or what I am doing differently.
I am not running highly scientific tests at a bench in a lab. I am using the brush twice a day like you would at home.
Brushing time, and pressure are going to have a bearing. As will how quickly I turn the brush off post brushing.
But I always brush for 2 minutes and any extra pressure tends to be limited and consistent overall.
I am unable to say conclusively, but I do wonder whether the Bluetooth connectivity and the display have a part to play at times draining a little more power.
The iO detects motion and can often result in the screen being lit at times when I am not even going near the brush. Maybe a vibration through the countertop the brush is on or I get close to it. Sometimes it will appear to activate randomly.
Premium magnetic charging stand
Here is one way in which some of the iO Series stands out from the competition.
The Series 7,8 and 9 all come with a premium magnetic charger.
Wider, deeper and heavier than a standard Oral-B charging stand, the magnetic charger is circular in its design.
There is no prong on the top onto which the brush sits.
Instead, the stand itself has magnets inside which attract and hold the iO8 brush handle when placed on it.
The design does mean the handle can be put on in any position, there isn’t just 1 way it fits to it.
It comes in either black or white colour, subject to the variant you have.
Hardwired into it is a 2 pin UK power adapter (suitable for UK bathrooms). The cord is about 1.2 meters in length.
If you want to connect to a UK 3 pin power outlet, you will need to purchase a plug adapter.
The stand supports 100-240 volts, unlike the 220-240 volts of the standard charger.
What this means is that if you were to travel with this charger you need a plug adapter only (if applicable).
Another benefit is that this premium charger replenishes the battery quicker.
It takes around 3 hours as opposed to the 12-15 hours of most other Oral-B brushes.
Battery charge status feedback
Unlike other models that have an LED on the brush handle to give an indication of the remaining power in the battery, the iO8 does not have such.
As you might well have guessed, feedback is given via the LED display.
Shown about 15 seconds after you turn the brush off, you get an animated graphic of a battery and a percentage number above on the screen.
The battery icon has a differing number of bars within it, subject to the charge level. More bars equals more charge remaining.
The percentage is a precise number such as 73% rather than in increments of 10 for example*.
You can also view the amount of charge in the battery via the smartphone application.
The app will store the last known charge status until such time data is synced again and an updated reading given.
When the battery is low (around 10 percent remaining) the icon on the screen will turn red. The motor will reduce its speed and the smart pressure sensor will blink red too.
When placed on the charging stand, the charge level is shown on the screen and the smart pressure sensor ring light will slowly pulse with a white light to confirm it is charging.
Once fully charged the light will go out.
*It should be noted some older iO8 models (including ours) shows the percentage in 10 percent increments on screen, but as a precise percentage within the app. Hardware updates since initial launch have changed this as far as we understand.
The battery is not user replaceable
Inside the handle is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery.
It is similar to that built into your smartphone and other mobile gadgets.
Oral-B has sealed it inside the handle to limit the potential of damage.
Water can really hamper electronics. Therefore the handle has been designed to limit the likelihood of any moisture getting inside.
The consequence is that the brush isn’t repairable at home.
Removing the battery or attempting to do so will basically render the brush useless.
This approach is common across the industry and needs to change, in the interest of the environment.
A battery will often last 5+ years, but it is very handy to have the option of at least replacing it if you need to.
Summary of battery life
- Rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery built-in
- Expected to last 2+ weeks on a full charge
- Achieved 14 days in hands-on testing
- Premium magnetic charging stand included
- Can be recharged in just 3 hours
- 2 pin power adapter hardwired into the stand
- The charging stand supports 100-240v
- The battery charge level is shown on the display and within the app
- A pulsing red light ring means the battery could do with being recharged
- A pulsing white light when on the stand means the battery is being recharged
- No light when on the stand means the battery is fully charged
- The battery is sealed inside and is not replaceable.
Price & where to buy
I have included links to buying options here at the start of the review.
In the section below, I discuss the price more generally and in relation to similar products.
The retail price or the suggested price asked of the iO8 is eye watering.
At the time of review, it is a staggering £449.99.
Make no mistake, this is an insane price for a toothbrush.
Compare this to a smartphone and the value you get from that and there is really no comparison in my opinion.
Yes, you need to keep your teeth clean and healthy, but it doesn’t cost this.
£225 or less is what you want to pay for the iO8
You may need to shop around to achieve this, but I don’t suggest you pay any more than £225 if you can help it.
It is very common for Oral-B brushes, all electric toothbrushes in fact to be subject to discounts.
The greater the discount the more appealing it often looks. But you know as well as I do, this isn’t a real sign of what it is worth.
50% discount is what you should expect to get off the retail price.
Prices are always subject to change and do vary from one retailer to another, but it shouldn’t take too much effort to find such.
In fact, according to price tracking data for one retailer, the average price over the last 4 months is around £190, a further saving of £35.
How it compares to other Oral-B prices
As you might expect other models in the range follow a similar pricing strategy.
The iO9 that offers an extra cleaning mode, advanced tracking and a premium charging travel case has a retail price £50 more than the 8 at £499.99.
It typically sells for £250.
For £25 more than the Series 8 (accounting for the discount) I believe it is a worthwhile increase in price.
That said, something like the Vitality can be purchased for £25. You could get 9 of them for the price of the iO8!
The iO6, which sits 2 below the iO8 in the range costs £150 ish, so around £70 less.
If you are not too worried about the premium magnetic charging stand of the Series 8, you should opt for the 6. You would lose 1 extra cleaning mode and the display will be black and white rather than colour.
iO brush heads are overpriced
I like to be as honest and transparent with you as possible.
A regular replacement brush head for an Oral-B electric toothbrush will cost around £3.
For this price, you are getting a genuine manufacturer original.
But, these heads do not fit or work with the iO8.
With the introduction of the iO Series came a new brush head style and attachment.
The consequence is replacement heads for the iO8 are iO Series specific.
And they cost twice the price on average of the other heads.
Expect to pay around £8 per brush head.
How the long term ownership costs work out
At Electric Teeth we like to price a brush over a 3 year period to give a bit of a benchmark by which to compare it to other models.
According to our research and feedback, affordability and value for money are important to people when buying a toothbrush.
The iO8 is going to cost about £225 to purchase.
You then need to factor in replacement heads every 3 months, at £8 per head.
Over 3 years that is an additional cost of £88.
Your total ownership cost is then about £313.
This is quite expensive. Not the most expensive brush, but one of the more premium options.
The Pro 3 3500 is one of the best value brushes on the market, costing £78 over 3 years.
This is over 3x cheaper. And this is accounting for the discounted selling price!
And for the saving, you are certainly not getting a clean 3 times as bad. In fact, there is little to distinguish between the 2.
Please note that all prices quoted are approximates and will vary based on location, supplier and time of purchase. These figures were correct at the time of writing and should not be relied upon as hard fact, but used as a guide during your decision process.
Summary of price & where to buy
- List of buying options included here
- Recommended retail price of £449.99
- Generally available with a 50% discount to make it £225
- Replacement brush heads cost about £8 each
- Works out at £313 over 3 years
- Models like the Pro 3 3 3500 cost a third of the price
My thoughts on reliability and repairability
Oral-B is an established player within the oral care sector and their electric toothbrushes are on the whole very reliable.
It is not possible to say that the iO8 would never fail, but the odds are very low.
The screen is potentially a more risky addition to the handle as it isn’t tried and tested like some other technology.
The fact it is not a touchscreen does work in its favour.
But, having been using the iO Series handles for a couple of years at the time of review, I have not heard of screen failure being a real issue.
As standard, you get a 2 year warranty.
Unfortunately, no parts on the brush are designed to be user serviceable. This isn’t uncommon for an electric toothbrush. With a need to move to more sustainable approaches this is disappointing.
Electric toothbrushes don’t fare well in their impact on the environment because of materials needed for their electrical components, heavy weight when shipping, and the need to be disposed of as e-waste.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use one. You need to balance effective cleaning and disease prevention against the environmental impact.
Electric toothbrushes can reduce the need for dental treatment. And avoid the need for planetary impacts that come from procedures such as fillings.
There is a lack of detailed evidence to confirm that a filling is worse than use of an electric toothbrush. But, with the data available, dentist Gemma Wheeler believes that a single filling is worse than an electric brush with a usable life of 5 years.
There is no perfect solution as yet. We want to see manufacturers doing more to tackle this issue and achieve significant improvements.
Schemes to recycle brush heads only scratch the surface of what needs to be done.
Related to the iO8 specifically:
- Recyclable cardboard box and inner tray.
- The in handle display isn’t a necessary feature, particularly in colour.
- The travel cases come wrapped in plastic, which isn’t necessary.
- The brush head refill will be surplus to requirement for some.
- The Bluetooth technology isn’t necessary either, requiring additional components.
- No user serviceable parts.
- Removing the battery breaks the brush.
Like other brushes within the iO Series, the 8 is far from a bad brush. In fact, it is excellent in many ways.
But, for me, based on what I have learned users want, I think the iO9 is a more sensible purchase.
I say this with some caution as it is more expensive and we don’t generally recommend smart brushes. But, for those who want a smart toothbrush, the 9 has it all and will likely work out better value than the 8.
The main advantage of the Series 9 is the enhanced real-time tracking. It tracks 16 zones rather than 6 to give more specific feedback. It also has a premium travel case.
The iO6 is an option for those who would rather save a bit of cash, but still want the tech.
Or, just maybe go for our top recommended Oral-B brush which will deliver significantly better value for money than the iO8. You just won’t have all the extra modes and features the 8 offers. But your teeth will still be very clean.
- Height (without head) – 18.3cm / 7.2 inches
- Height (with head) – 24cm / 9.45 inches
- Width – 2.8cm / 1.1 inches
- Thickness – 2.8cm / 1.1 inches
- Weight (without head) – 131g / 4.6 ounces
- Weight (with head) – 140g / 4.9 ounces
All are approximates
More Oral-B iO content
In case you hadn’t noticed, the Oral-B iO range now includes several models.
We explain the differences in our Oral-B iO comparison.
We’ve also reviewed each brush individually: